It’s common for parents to think, “I want my husband/spouse/partner to adopt my daughter or son — but I don’t know where to begin.” Fortunately, the lawyers at Parker Herring Law Group PLLC can help you get started.
Today, stepparent adoption is common in North Carolina and throughout the United States, and we have helped many parents legalize their child’s relationship to a stepparent through a straightforward legal process. If you’re asking, “Can my husband adopt my child in North Carolina?” know that our lawyers can help you, too. Adoption of a stepchild gives stability to a child as well as to the family as a whole.
To begin this process today, please call the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC at 919-821-1860 or contact us online. When you’re ready, we can help your spouse secure all the legal rights and protections afforded by a legal stepparent status.
“How Can My Husband Adopt My Daughter or Son?”
In the United States today, more than 20 percent of children are living with two parents in remarriage or with cohabitating parents — meaning the need for stepparent adoptions has increased. There are many parents in second marriages who wish to establish their rights to a non-biological stepchild and, many times, their spouses ask, “What is the process of a stepmother or stepfather adopting my child?”
With the assistance of experienced attorneys like those at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC, your spouse adopting your child is a straightforward and affordable legal process that comes with many benefits for all involved. Our attorneys will guide you through the process to ensure every legal necessity is taken care of along the way.
If you’re asking, “Can my husband adopt my child?” there is one important requirement you must meet. North Carolina stepparent adoption laws require that an adopting stepparent be married to the child’s biological parent for six months or longer. If you have not yet been married that long, you will need to wait until you’ve reached those six months before starting the legal process. You also may need to have an approved assessment if you have not been married for at least two years, although this requirement can be waived by the clerk.
Another important legal requirement is the termination of your child’s other biological parent’s rights. In order for your spouse to take on the legal responsibilities and rights of a mother or father to your child, your child’s noncustodial parent must consent to his or her parental rights being terminated.
If your child’s noncustodial parent is absent or may contest the stepparent adoption, there are certain legal processes that can be followed. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your individual situation, advise you on the best course of action to take, and help you locate a noncustodial parent who may have been out of touch for a period of time.
In addition, know that any child 12 years of age or older must sign a consent to a stepparent adoption, as well. And, once a stepparent adoption is complete, any obligation to pay ongoing child support by the noncustodial parent will be void, although any unpaid child support will remain owed upon the finalization of the adoption.
In general, the steps of a spouse adopting your child are:
- Contacting a stepparent adoption attorney at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC.
- Filling out a client information sheet and then gathering necessary paperwork and obtaining necessary parental consents.
- Submitting a stepparent adoption petition to your local court.
- Attending a finalization hearing, if necessary, but note that in many counties in North Carolina, a hearing is not necessary.
Remember, our adoption attorneys will answer every question you have during this process, such as, “How can my new husband adopt my child?” With our help, you can complete a stepparent adoption in North Carolina.
“How Can My Partner Adopt My Child as an LGBT Parent?”
Sometimes, same-sex couples may look into completing a stepparent adoption in North Carolina, either because they are unable to adopt jointly as an LGBT couple, because one partner adopts a child before meeting the other, or because they completed an assisted reproductive technology process. Those in this situation often wonder, “Can my partner adopt my son or daughter?”
As mentioned, a stepparent adoption can only be completed in North Carolina if the adopting stepparent has been married to their spouse for at least six months. If you and your spouse meet this requirement, you can complete a stepparent adoption like any other North Carolina couple. The Parker Herring Law Group PLLC equally and fairly represents couples of all sexual orientation, and our attorneys will be happy to help you protect your spouse’s legal rights through this adoption process.
Unfortunately, at this time North Carolina does not allow for second-parent adoptions, which means unmarried same-sex couples cannot complete an adoption process to establish the non-biological parent’s rights to their child. While a non-biological parent who has raised the child with the consent and encouragement of a legal parent may be able to seek custody, they cannot be granted the rights and protections of a legal parent through adoption.
Therefore, if you’re asking, “What is the process of my partner adopting my child if we’re unmarried?” know that this legal step cannot be completed in North Carolina until you and your spouse have been married for at least six months. But, even if you have not been married for at least six months, you might consider reaching out to an experienced adoption attorney to find what will be involved in an adoption and its necessary costs.
For more information about same-sex adoption in North Carolina and the processes available to you, please contact our offices today.
“Can My Boyfriend Adopt My Son or Daughter?”
Similarly, when other unmarried parents say, “My boyfriend wants to adopt my child,” North Carolina adoption attorneys can only advise that the couple gets married in order to complete a legal stepparent adoption at least six months later.
Because of adoption laws in North Carolina, heterosexual unmarried couples cannot complete stepparent adoptions, just like same-sex unmarried couples. In order to receive the benefits of a legal stepparent adoption, marriage is necessary.
However, if you’re asking, “How can my boyfriend adopt my son or daughter?” our adoption attorneys can always explain the process of a stepparent adoption and its requirements to help you prepare for this legal procedure when you are ready to begin.
Start Your Stepparent Adoption in N.C. Today
Remember, if you’re considering a stepparent adoption in North Carolina, there are three important requirements you’ll need to meet:
- Being married to the adopting stepparent for six months or more
- Obtaining the consent of your child’s noncustodial parent to have their parental rights terminated; and
- Obtaining an assessment or waiver of an assessment from the clerk if you have not been married for at least two years.
A stepparent adoption is a very beneficial step toward legally and emotionally solidifying an existing family relationship, but it is also one that should come with serious consideration, especially if your child’s noncustodial parent is still involved in his or her life. If your spouse adopting your child is a possibility, it’s encouraged that you speak with not only his or her noncustodial parent (if possible) but also your child to ensure this legal process is best for all involved .
It is not uncommon for our law firm to receive calls of someone wanting to have a stepparent adopt, only to say that the whereabouts of the biological father are not known. The reality is that, in this age of social media and the internet, most persons living in the United States can be located. If you are in this position, feel free to call and speak with one of our adoption attorneys to receive suggestions on how the biological parent can be located.
For more information about how your spouse can adopt your child in North Carolina, or to learn more about the requirements of a stepparent adoption, please call our adoption attorneys at 919-821-1860 today.